If you’ve ever suffered from any kind of debilitating or chronic condition in your life, you know there are a lot of different medications out there. Some claim to completely cure you, while others merely calm your symptoms. Ketamine is a drug that’s proving to be very successful in treating many different chronic diseases.
Ketamine and your brain
Understanding how ketamine works in your brain can help you understand how and why it’s so beneficial for uses other than anesthesia. Ketamine works on a very specific group of cells in your brain called NMDA receptors. These receptors interact with neurotransmitters such as glutamate to rev up your neurons.
Most of the time, this is a good thing. However, if your neurons stay in an excitatory state for too long, they begin to die off. This leads to a cascade of events, resulting in certain conditions such as depression or anxiety. These, along with other conditions, have been linked to NMDA receptor malfunction.
Ketamine works directly on the brain to block the NMDA receptor signals. This allows the brain to create new pathways and synapses, which can aid the healing of past injury or illness. It also blocks glutamate, which is important for your memory and emotions. This allows you to feel calm and forget the moments before or after surgery.
Although this drug is traditionally used for its anesthetic properties, at Boston MindCare, we’ve found that it has many other advantages for a variety of illnesses that may be inpacting your life.
The many benefits of ketamine
Since ketamine is used for surgery, it helps to calm your mind and also to relieve the pain associated with certain procedures. However, the benefits of ketamine have broken the boundaries of surgery and have shown success in treatment of many conditions, including:
- Chronic pain
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Bipolar disorder
One of the benefits that ketamine offers is a decreased need for narcotic painkillers. This is a great advantage, due to the increased likelihood of tolerance and complications with long-term narcotic use. If you suffer from chronic pain, ketamine may be a great alternative to traditional treatments.
Another advantage is that ketamine works very quickly, and continues to work even after it’s metabolized by your body. This is especially true when it’s used for treatment of depression symptoms. Typical antidepressants need weeks to build up in your body and start working, while ketamine can work in a matter of hours.
Ketamine, when used properly, also doesn’t have a significant effect on your breathing rate or blood pressure. This makes it very safe for use in surgery, as many other drugs that produce a sedating effect can decrease your blood pressure, which can lead to complications.
Although ketamine has shown very positive results for many psychological conditions, it’s not for everybody. It’s important to talk to our staff about all aspects of ketamine therapy, including side effects and contraindications for use.
Getting ketamine therapy
At Boston MindCare, our goal is to help you fight your chronic condition through ketamine infusion therapy. Once our doctors have determined that this type of treatment would be beneficial to you, you’ll make an appointment for your initial infusion.
At this appointment, we put an IV line in your arm where the ketamine will be administered. We monitor you the entire time, and one of our anesthesiologists oversees the treatment. Your dose can be adjusted to best suit you and your response to the drug.
Most appointments take about an hour or less, depending on how you do and the condition you’re dealing with. There are other forms of ketamine therapy that we offer including:
- Nasal spray
- Intramuscular injections
- Oral medications
At your initial appointment, our doctors will discuss which treatment route will be most beneficial in helping you fight your condition. It might be necessary for you to come back for follow-up infusions, but this depends on how you respond to treatment and if your symptoms improve.
If you’re at your wits’ end and think ketamine therapy may be the answer you’ve been looking for, call our office at 781-247-5323 to make an appointment or book with us online today.